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Gardens set to come alive

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Helen Cannella sitting in her garden in Leura. Photo: Melinda Jane

It’s the season of colour and what better way to celebrate than with the annual Leura Gardens Festival.

2017 marks the festival’s 53rd year and organisers are promising that it will be a spectacular event with some favourite properties returning.

President of the Leura Gardens Festival Committee, Brooke Broughton, said visitors to each of the Leura properties will be pleasantly surprised if nature takes its course.

“There will certainly be lots of colour,” he said.

“A lot of people have taken a great deal of time to prepare their displays and it really is a great opportunity to see gardens that you wouldn’t usually get to see at any other time.”

This year the festival, which begins on Saturday, September 30, will host 11 properties.
‘Glensheil’, a one acre block named after a glen in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, is just one of the 11 on display.

Purchased by current owner Helen Cannella in 2009, the garden was a blank canvas at the time with a lot of bush that needed to be cleared.

Now visitors can expect to see Wollemi pines, a small parterre garden with a central fountain, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, Japanese maples, weeping cherries, David Austin roses, herbaceous peonies and a royal frost birch grove under planted with hellebores and bluebells.

Everglades Historic House and Gardens and The Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort will also take part in the festival this year along with the Fairmont Resort.

As well as its garden display, the Waldorf will offer ‘Music in the Gardens’, showcasing local bands and singers every afternoon from Sunday, October 1.

Several new acts will be appearing as well favourites like the Katoomba Jazz Quartet and the Heathens Choir of Blackheath.

Like in years’ past, all proceeds of the Gardens Festival will go towards the Blue Mountains Hospital.

Since the festival’s establishment, organisers have raised over 2.5 million which has gone towards the purchase of equipment, patient amenities and the refurbishment of a ward.

Tickets are $25 per person for an all-gardens ticket and $8 per person for an individual garden ticket.

For more information, visit www.leuragardensfestival.com.au.